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Sunday 1 March 2009

Iphone/itouch bleat

I bought an ipod touch. I do a lot of walking and running, and for some unfathomable apple reason my ipod video doesn't work with the nike+ gadget, and I fancied playing with a new generation itouch to see what all the iphone fuss was about.

I'm not really loving the itouch as much as I'd thought though, finding this one hard work at times. Battery life is grim, probably because I'm using it for games and
stuff, but it really doesn't last long. On the blackberry I could opt for a longer life battery too, but of course this is an apple gadget, I can't change it, feh. Don't like the virtual keyboard,missing all the time, finding it nowhere near as good as the blackberry.

Hate the fact you can't multi task, and I am finding it's a pain in the arse. It's something I don't even think about on the blackberry, just switch out, check something, switch back. You don that on the apple, and you have to start again. It's fucked.

The wifi seems shit. Very unreliable connecting to networks, which really does limit the usefulness of the device. Thought it was just me home router, but even out and about, it's very random on getting a dhcp lease, and of course you've got no way of knowing what it's doing. Even a 'renew dhcp lease' doesn't give you any errors or
feedback, it just works or doesn't.

The games, while nice, are very limited to control. Touch screen games are fun, but anything else is crap.

The whole thing about having to go through itunes was ok for music at a push, but it sucks for apps. I don't have to do this with my nokia or blackberry, why should we put up with this shit from apple?

The interface, in the main, is lovely. Some of the apps are superb, love the little stock quote thing, love googles stuff, the safari browser is superb, facebook and ebay apps both brill. Watching videos works just fine too, but it's daft that apple doesn't offer some kind of transcode feature in itunes to make this easier.

Typical Apple really, so close to being perfect, so let down by stupid restrictions.


  1. "some unfathomable apple reason my ipod video doesn't work with the nike+ gadget"

    Steve wants you to buy a new iPod

    "You don that on the apple, and you have to start again. It's fucked."

    One mouse button, one app. coincidence?

    "why should we put up with this shit from apple?"

    Steve says one way of doing something is better than choice.

    "daft that apple doesn't offer some kind of transcode feature"

    Steve wants you to buy content from iTunes instead.

  2. Lots of spot on criticism here. It does seem worth pointing out that an iPod is one of the few things around that does this stuff which isn't a phone that costs a load of money. Now that PDAs are largely dead it doesn't really have a competitor.

    The battery has definately been selected for the slim design and the fact you get reasonable time when playing an mp3, with the screen off. As an actual PDA-like device though, it's pretty bad. What's more it doesn't just have a standard USB connection, it's got some weird thing so you need Apple's cable to recharge it.

    I found the Wi-Fi alright actually, back lack of feedback is a general Apple truism. iTunes is seriously genuinely fucking shit. I understand why you do apps through it because it's actually pretty competant at it. It installs them, notifies of updates etc. However finding stuff in the App store is an absolute joke. Their search is just plain broken. You search for something, get piles of hits for things you don't want and it doesn't show you the stuff you're actually looking for!

    I think the touch screen keyboard is pretty decent actually. It's not super modern like TouchPal but then I think people aren't really ready for uber-but-unfamiliar input mechanisms. The capacitive screen makes the keyboard pretty responsive just with the tips of your fingers.

    Ultimately all this stuff comes down to is the fact that you need a proper sandboxed consistent uploading/ecommerce mechanism. However people also want to be able to choose hardware features too. You want sexy slim and don't mind battery life? Fine. You want chunkier and a physical keyboard? Fine.

    You also don't want to be gimped in things you want to do just because they don't perfectly align with the way the vendor would like you to do things (because it's tied to some revenue generation mechanism).

    It's curious Apple take that view. I think I'd argue that the real shift that the iPhone introduced was this idea that your phone could be working for you rather than your mobile provider.

    Not for the first time I wished the various folks were making PDA-like things such as the Touch that you could just network to a regular phone. Then we could chop and change more rapidly. Occasionally just take the dinky phone out rather than both devices. Bah, aint gonna happen though.

  3. I'm about a month away from my mobile contract ending, and currently struggling to work out whether to get an iPhone or a G1.

    It's tempting to side with ubiquity and go for the iPhone - it does have an undeniably better software library, higher userbase and probably the most likely future success.

    But I'm not sure I can live with the technical limitations. You just need to look at the Android Developer channel on YouTube to understand the potential of having wifi/3G/GPS/camera/compass in one device. It's the kind of potential that virtually demands multitasking to realise - apps that change phone behaviour based on location; apps that notify you when something happens on the internet (football scores for example); Google latitude; even simple always-on instant messaging.

    Apple seem to have sacrificed a massive chunk of functionality in favour of battery life. I think it's fair to say that their proposed "push" compromise is a very much the second best solution.